Embassy Officials in the Face of Gun Violence


07 June 2022 18:12 STI

New Delhi [India]June 7 (ANI): Responding to concerns over rising gun violence in America, officials at the US Embassy in New Delhi said universities are completely safe for students.
Donald Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy in India, told ANI on Tuesday that many officials have had many relatives ask them about the security of US universities.
“American universities are generally very safe places. They usually have their own police force and exercise strict controls on people who enter residential or educational buildings. Unfortunately, most of these events have occurred in the primary and secondary schools and it’s just tragic,” Donald Heflin said. affirmed.
Echoing similar sentiments, cultural and educational affairs adviser Anthony Miranda said universities share the same concerns.
“They want to make sure that students who choose to attend this university are safe so they can focus on their studies and extracurricular activities,” Miranda said.

Speaking on the arrangements made at universities for student safety, Miranda said that universities have implemented a number of procedures and programs to ensure the safety of their campuses, including ensuring that people always had visible identification on them.
He further mentioned blue light phone booths. “These are phone booths that can be scattered around a university that connects directly to the police.”
“There are also student-run organizations that make sure there is always someone who can walk you home to help with security as well,” Miranda said.
The United States recently witnessed a horrific mass shooting that occurred at an elementary school in Texas on May 24.
Speaking about issuing visas for Indian students, Heflin said, “All in all, we will have opened over 100,000 appointments this year. The demand is really strong. I really hope that every student who wants a date can make one.”
“We basically missed the whole year of 2020 due to shutdowns here in India. And then we got back on our feet at Christmas that year and had a big student visa season last year. This year is going to be the biggest of all time. We have a lot of requests. We are therefore trying to respond to them by opening up a lot of interview slots”, explained the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs.
US Chargé d’Affaires Patricia Lacina, US Embassy India also said, “Indians are the second largest group of international students in the US. We have opened tens of thousands of appointments for visas and expanded our interview waiver options for students under new visa guidelines.”
The US Mission to India held its sixth annual Student Visa Day. Consular officers from the US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai interviewed over 2,500 Indian student visa applicants.
Student Visa Day celebrates the higher education ties between the United States and India. This year, more than 200,000 Indian students are studying at US academic institutions, representing more than 20% of international students currently in the United States.
The United States Mission encourages all students interested in studying in the United States to contact Education USA, the US government-sponsored counseling service that offers credible and comprehensive information to help navigate the admissions and Visa. Education USA represents over 4,000 accredited American colleges and universities with eight counseling centers across India. (ANI)


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